COVID-19 Cut Off About 40% of Nigeria’s Revenue
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday said the COVID-19 pandemic reduced the nation’s revenue generation by 40 percent.
Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, disclosed this in a statement titled “How we are converting COVID-19 pandemic to opportunity to reset the economy – Osinbajo” on Tuesday.
According to Akande, the Vice President disclosed this in a webinar organised by the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council with a focus on the Nigerian economy.
The Vice President was quoted as saying, “It seemed the sun was beginning to shine quite brightly after the years of recession and its immediate aftermath.
“Then came COVID-19, possibly the worst economic crisis the world has seen.
“For us in Nigeria, it was a perfect storm for oil prices, Russia and Saudi Arabia choosing that very moment for a price war.
“Then the inevitable lockdowns resulting in closure of businesses. Our huge informal economy all but crashed and government revenues fell too by over 40 per cent.”
Osinbaja, therefore, said considering the size of the economy and its fiscal limitations, a stimulus package of N2.3 trillion, representing about 1.5 percent of the nation’s income, was put in place to stimulate growth, protect jobs and support businesses.
The Vice President added that if factors like oil price and COVID-19 pandemic did not deteriorate further, the stimulus would be enough to stir growth and halt massive economic recession to about -0.59 percent in 2020.
“We have taken the opportunity to remove petrol subsidies and to insist that power distribution companies must engage with customers to ensure that new tariffs are based only on improved power supply,” he said.
In addition to using fiscal and monetary policies to stimulate the economy from within, the Vice President said the Federal Government’s main goals were to retain and create jobs, help vulnerable people and support businesses while undertaking infrastructural developments.